No married couple or anyone who is planning to get married would think of getting divorced later on. After all, marriage is a lifetime commitment between you and your significant other. However, divorce is a common thing nowadays so for some couples, a prenuptial agreement may be necessary. Divorce lawyers will also use this document as a legal basis in case the inevitable divorce does happen.
What is a Pre-Nuptial agreement?
A pre-nuptial agreement is a type of contract signed by the couple about to get married. This is considered a legal document which is supposed to protect each individual’s assets in case divorce happens. In fact, top rated divorce lawyers would recommend couples to have a prenuptial agreement.
A pre-nuptial agreement may contain at least one of the following conditions:
- Separation of marital and individual assets and properties
- Debt management and accountability
- Financial support for the spouse and their children (current and from past relationships)
- Family inheritance protection
- Property distribution (consult local family lawyers about this)
- Accountability of each spouse (ex. bills payment, debt management, business management, etc.)
What you cannot include in the pre-nuptial agreement
On the other hand, the following conditions cannot be indicated in the pre-nuptial agreement:
- Child custody/support
- Any illegal activities
- Alimony waivers
- Other personal matters
These issues are usually tackled during the divorce settlement should there be no presence of a prenuptial agreement. That said, a couple who is about to get married may consider signing a prenuptial agreement. As another option, high-asset divorce lawyers can also help in drafting your pre-nuptial agreement.
This legal document will help manage your expectation during and post-divorce settlement. Otherwise, state divorce laws will dictate asset distribution in the event of divorce. In other words, not signing a pre-nuptial agreement means giving your assets in the state’s jurisdiction.
How can a Pre-Nuptial agreement change the divorce process?
A pre-nuptial agreement can help a couple in properly settling your assets, property, and overall expectation during and after the event of divorce. Sucha document can also lessen the tension between the couple when the divorce case is ongoing.
With pre-nuptial agreements on hand, divorce lawyers would have a smaller role in handling your case as compared to couples who do not have it. Also, it can help move your divorce case faster and reduce fees charged by top rated divorce lawyers.
On the contrary, a spouse may request the court to disregard the pre-nuptial agreement. Also, certain criteria have to be met to determine the agreement’s legitimacy. The court will also have to review the entire document before any decision is made.
The contesting spouse should also prove he or she is not under the influence or mentally incapacitated when the document signing commenced. Other evidences will also have to be uncovered including emails, phone conversations, and online chats among others. In such cases, legal fees can increase and delays on the divorce process can likely occur.
Is a Pre-Nuptial agreement for you?
While a pre-nuptial agreement can be beneficial in a marriage, it may not be for everyone else. Among these instances include the following:
- Hiring a reputable lawyer is expensive for you.
Seasoned family lawyers should be able to help you draft your pre-nuptial agreement. Normally, it can cost about $2,500 to draft a prenup. However, it may differ depending on your location.
- You want to apply the state’s divorce laws.
State laws dictate certain conditions applicable to divorce such as spousal and child support, and property distribution among a few. That said, a pre-nup may not be necessary if your state’s divorce laws are consistent with your terms.
- If you are not planning to create additional assets or have children.
A pre-nup agreement may not be necessary if you don’t have any plans to purchase assets such as property or a business that you intend to protect in the future.
- If the couple doesn’t believe in the concept of a pre-nuptial agreement.
A pre-nup may not be necessary if you and your significant other strongly believe in your marriage. However, talking about it may not be a bad thing and you may still consider it to secure you and your asset’s future.
If you are planning to have a pre-nuptial agreement with your future spouse, you can seek legal assistance from the best divorce lawyers in Alexandra VA.